Orwell Prize winning hack Johann Hari has some explaining to do. After reading a recent blog post detailing how he seems to have plagiarised large parts of his interview with Antonio Negri I thought I’d have a closer look at his work.
As a test I picked a recent interview of Hari’s at random and went through his quotes, doing a basic check for plagiarism. The results are pretty damning.
“I wonder what it would be like if I were a male rock star? Maybe I just could be like ‘fuck it’ and keep someone hanging there. But, I don’t know… It just doesn’t feel right. And I definitely don’t have groupies. No, the evening always ends with me and my friend in my hotel room watching romantic comedies going, ‘We’re never getting married.’”
This was fun.
Today, we’re excited to announce the release of one of the largest revamps to the Instagram app since it launched nearly a year ago.
Since the day we launched, one core part of the app has remain largely unchanged: the camera. In the past, we’ve added filters & tilt-shift, but the base technology…
The United Nations gives a loose estimate that the world population will hit seven billion people sometime in the next few days.
It wasn’t so long ago that we hit six billion, and looking back 60 years global population was 2.5 billion.
At the Wall Street Journal, William McGun writes that added mouths to feed shouldn’t concern us. Instead, he suggests, we should look at the human potential among us:
At Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs tells CNN “the consequences for humanity could be grim.” Earlier this year, a New York Times columnist declared “the earth is full,” suggesting that a growing population means “we are eating into our future.” And in West Virginia, the Charleston Gazette editorializes about a “human swarm” that is “overbreeding” in a way that “prosperous, well-educated families” from the developed world do not.
The smarter ones acknowledge that Malthus’s ominous warnings about a growing population outstripping the food supply were not borne out in his day. The track record for these scares in our own day is not much better. Perhaps the most famous was Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 “The Population Bomb,” which opened with these sunny sentences: “The battle to feed all humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines—hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”…
…The truth is that the main flaw in Malthus is precisely his premise. Malthusian fears about population follow from the Malthusian view that human beings are primarily mouths to be fed rather than minds to be unlocked. In this reasoning, when a pig is born in China, the national wealth is thought to go up, but when a Chinese baby is born the national wealth goes down.
The Nameless, Faceless 1,027 Palestinian Prisoners and One Named Israeli Soldier
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
On the surface, it seems like the Palestinians and Hamas won a major victory in today’s exchange of prisoners. Gilad Shalit, one Israeli soldier, in exchange for more than a thousand Palestinians. The numbers are theirs to claim. How could Palestinians not be declared the victors?
With all this media coverage, I really only know one name. The general public truly only knows one name. One face. One set of parents. One human story of drama and pain and sacrifice. I know Gilad Shalit. He’s my son and my brother and my friend. He’s the child I would sit out in the rain and the blazing sun to protect and bring home. I ache for his family and his country. He’s human, he’s real, he’s flesh and blood.
With the Palestinian prisoners, I don’t know the name of one person. We don’t know the name of one person. No headlines in the papers or blogs exclusively devoted to the single surname of a Palestinian prisoner returned to her family. I know only numbers and politics and negotiators. I don’t know the woman above. We don’t know her. The story of a daughter and a sister and a mother and a wife. We don’t identify with her because she has remained faceless, nameless, lost. How long has she spent inside an Israeli prison? How long has her family begged their government to make a deal for an exchange? She goes unnoticed and unnamed by all of us.
Even the description of the photojournalist doesn’t identify her but names one man:
“A Palestinian prisoner hugs relatives after arriving in Mukata following her release on October 18, 2011 in Ramallah, West Bank. Israeli Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit was freed after being held captive for five years in Gaza by Hamas militants, in a deal which saw Israel releasing more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.”
This is the tragedy of the circumstances. When the dust settles and history remains our only chronicler, we will remember the name of Gilad Shalit — a young man who spent five years in Palestinian cell — but not the name of this one Palestinian woman. And we will remember that the Palestinians received 1,027 people in return. Numbers get confused in our memories, but the story and image of one individual, one life worth retrieving, will remain with us forever.
But, now at least, I know her face. We see the love of a family and the pain of return. And, even though it’s not the equivalent, it’s a beginning. The Palestinian leadership would do well to remember this, and so should the media, including us.
Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images
First of all thanks for the excellent reading list, classics indeed. As requested, here are…